AI, design thinking, robotics and big data have made a splash across all industries, but perhaps their greatest impact is in healthcare. As technology and innovation have grown in the healthcare field, hospitals and startups have found amazing ways to improve their offerings and revolutionize the industry. The result is amazing applications of new technology and thinking that can forever change how patients are treated.
Here are 10 examples of explosive innovative in healthcare.
1. Pennsylvania Hospital Changes Traditional Design
Pennsylvania Hospital is steeped in history, but a new facility will bring in new thinking and technology. Instead of being organized by department like most hospitals, the facility will have a more cohesive feel. The goal is for every department to have ownership over every patient in an environment that feels more like a hotel than a sterile hospital. The Pavilion isn’t set to open until 2021. Throughout the design and construction phases, the hospital has involved patients and staff to provide feedback and recommendations for the best healthcare technology.
2. Boston Children’s Hospital Uses 3D Models To Shorten Surgeries
Detailed operations can dangerous and long. The more time a patient is in surgery, the bigger the risk. A growing number of hospitals, including Boston Children’s Hospital, are using 3D operating models that allow surgeons to practice complex operations before they walk into the operating room. Practicing beforehand not only helps the surgeries go more quickly but also allows surgeons to test innovative practices to be more confident of their success. 3D printing allows hospitals to create exact models of a patient’s organs for detailed practice.
3. Startup Uses Big Data To Treat Rare Diseases
One of the biggest challenges to creating new drugs and treatments for rare diseases is simply getting enough information to find the right treatment. Healthcare startup RDMD is trying to solve that problem by using AI to analyze data from medical records to find commonalities in rare disease cases. The company then sells that data to pharmaceutical companies so they can create cutting-edge treatments. RDMD’s approach shows that harnessing the power of data can help find better treatments, faster.
4. University Of Chicago Medical Center Solves OR Bottlenecks With Predictive Analytics
A common problem for many hospitals is bottlenecks and slowdowns in the operating room, which is expensive and frustrating for patients and doctors. The University of Chicago Medical Center uses predictive analytics to streamline the movements in and out of the OR. By combining real-time data and an AI-powered algorithm, the hospital has decreased turnover by 20%, or four minutes per room. The new system improves communication and workflows from all the moving parts in the operating room and is expected to save the hospital $600,000 a year, plus lead to more satisfied patients and staff.
5. AI Robot Helps With Heart Treatments
Advanced robotics opens doors for surgeries and treatments that were previously more dangerous and invasive. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University developed HeartLander, a miniature robot that can perform heart therapy treatments. A doctor makes a small incision and then navigates the robot to particular parts of the heart, where the robots sticks to the organ and performs therapy. HeartLander is a huge improvement over traditional heart therapy procedures because it is more precise, safer and less invasive.
6. Children’s Hospital Connects Newborns And Parents With NICU App
Premature babies or newborns with health problems often have to stay in the NICU, even after their parents leave the hospital. To help ease a stressful situation and provide clear updates, researchers at the University of Chicago and the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago use the PreeMe+You app to keep parents in constant contact with their babies and their care teams. Parents can track their baby’s progress in real time and know what their baby is doing at every moment. It’s a comfort for parents who can’t be at their baby’s side and helps parents and the care team stay on the same page.
7. Seattle Children’s Uses Data For Better Diagnoses
Doctors at Seattle Children’s Hospital have started using big data analytics to provide faster and more accurate diagnoses for its patients. The new system can comb through thousands of data points about each patient to diagnose the condition and find treatment options nearly instantly. Previous systems could take days or weeks and weren’t as accurate. Taking advantage of big data allows doctors and nurses to provide personalized treatment options that are backed by statistics and current research.
8. VR Helps Patients In Difficult Situations
Certain situations can be difficult for patients, such as going through childbirth or facing anxiety about an upcoming surgery. Startup VRHealth has partnered with healthcare providers to bring virtual reality to patients. The innovative concept is rather simple: patients are given VR glasses during painful or difficult procedures to minimize the stress. The technology makes for a more pleasant patient experience while also creating a better environment for providers to safely perform the procedure. VR technology also helps clinics gather new patient information and share treatment instructions for after the patient goes home.
9. Chatbot Provides 24/7 Personalized Health Advice
Innovative technology puts patients in control. Chatbot Florence is an AI-powered chatbot that gives answers and advice whenever patients need. Instead of waiting to talk to their doctor, patients can simply ask Florence a question about symptoms or medication, and she’ll provide personalized responses. She can also remind users to take medication and track healthy habits. Florence is constantly learning new information to stay ahead of health trends and changing disease patterns.
10. Cloud-Based Systems Streamline Data Access
Instead of keeping separate charts and systems for each department and patient, innovative healthcare systems are moving towards cloud-based data management systems. These programs combine patient data into a single system that can be accessed instantly and from anywhere. Instead of having to sort through multiple systems, healthcare providers can get all the information they need about a patient in one place and easily share it with other members of the care team. Companies like CloudCare allow providers to access protected data in real time.
These 10 examples show the power of innovation in healthcare and how new ideas and technology can completely change the experience for patients and providers. As technology develops, we’ll see even more innovation and healthcare growth.
Blake Morgan is a keynote speaker, futurist and author of “More Is More.” Sign up for her weekly customer experience newsletter here.